Past Icons of the Femme Fatale look:
The Key rules for a Femme Fatale look are:
- Strong clean brows, pencilled in to make stronger and more defined.
- Rich reds and plums for deep and sultry full lips.
- Dark greys and smokey blacks for dramatic seductive eyes, framed by an equally strong brow.
- Keep shadows well blended and soft to avoid a hard look.
- Keep skin colour warm so the dramatic eyes and lips do not leave the face looking pale and drawn.
- Apply lots of mascara to frame the eyes.
- Matte skin.
Now you have the key rules to keep in mind whilst trying to create your Femme Fatale look you can follow these steps to creating your finished look:
1) Prep skin with moisturiser and/or primer; a primer will leave skin looking flawless against the strong lips and eyes which will hold the most attention. I used a Body Shop primer for dry skin as my model had drier skin at the time; other great primers include Laura Mercier Foundation primer or L’oreal Studio Secrets primer.
2) Do not start with foundation and concealor, but use this after doing the eyes as you may create fallout from applying dark shadow to the eyes.
3) Starting on the eyes, use a dark smokey colour to deepen the socket, use a flat compact brush to really push the product into the skin. Do not go too far past the socket line. Make sure you take this colour down under the eye, tracing the whole lower lash line, creating that deep smokey look. Do not worry about trying to keep it neat and tidy or well blended as you will blend the colour out in the next steps.
Try to use shadows that have pigment or a metallic shimmer; these will pick up the light and help to create a softer sultrier look.
I used MAC ‘humid’ eye shadow for this first step.
4) Using a slightly lighter shadow fill in the middle of the eye and blend the colour into the socket colour using a fluffy blending brush. Make sure to now blend the previous colour so there are no hard lines and the shadows all merge into one.
I used MAC ‘club’ eye shadow for this.
5) Finish the shadow by using a shimmery/metallic/pigment all over the shadow already applied, this will add depth and set off the other colours, this could be a shimmery dark forest green or rich plum/brown, but something with a rich deep colour. I used a MAC pigment in ‘chocolate brown’ for this.
6) Lastly, line the socket to add depth with a shimmery black, again using a soft and fluffy blending brush. I used MAC ‘black tied’ for this.
7) Apply a couple coats of thickening volumising mascara, I used Clinique High Impact Mascara.
8) Frame the eyes by pencilling in or using shadow to strengthen and define brows. Do not be afraid to use quite a dark colour as you want the brows to be a strong feature, keep them arched and clean. For the models hair colour I mixed a blend of MAC shadows in ‘embark’ and ‘carbon’.
9) Then apply foundation, the foundation should be matte one as in the 1940’s when the femme fatale look was popularised by women like Marlene Dietrich and Rita Hayworth they would have been acting on screen a lot therefore needed matte skin so the camera did not pick up any shine. I used MAC Satinfinish for this, topped up with a heavy coverage of studio fix powder to remove any shine and set the foundation firmly in place.
10) Now add in your lip colour, using a rich plum or deep red. I have used a mix of Kyrolans Mini lip palette colours LC008 and LC010, plus used a MAC lip liner in ‘spice’.
11) Make sure you finish by adding some warmth to the outer areas of the face by using a skin coloured contouring powder. Either a taupe of soft matte brown. Anything with too much orange will look fake. For this I used Marks and Spencer’s bronzing powder in ‘medium’ which has a very earthy colour rather than an orangey bronzy look.
12) Lastly, create some strong cheekbones to toughen up the look by using an angled soft brush just under the cheekbone to create a depth and shadow. To achieve this I used a small amount of MAC eyeshadow in ‘omega’.